She might teach recreation and leisure studies, but Magnolia resident and Gordon College professor Valerie Gin takes her work seriously.
As a result, colleagues from across the country have honored her for her international contributions to the field.
Gin, chairwoman of the Gordon's Recreation and Leisure Studies department, received The Glen Van Andel Distinguished Service Award during the Christian Society for Kinesiology and Leisure Studies (CSKLS) conference held last month at Indiana Wesleyan University.
The award "honors a current professional member who has provided extensive meritorious service to the profession within or outside of the society."
Recipients of the award are recognized as "leaders in the society, who have worked to enhance and advance CSKLS goals" and have earned the respect of fellow-members through extended dedication to the society.
Gin was recognized because of her extensive international involvement for the past decade, lecturing, presenting papers, and consulting athletes and coaches in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, England, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, and Zambia.
"I am humbled and honored to receive an award named after one of the most respected academicians in the field of therapeutic recreation," Gin said, crediting Dr. Van Andel as a mentor, friend and colleague who, among other things, "endured my first professional presentation of my doctoral dissertation."
"I have been blessed professionally and personally to be a member of this society," Gin said.
Gin has also created sport ethics curriculum that is now used in sport leadership schools and trainings around the world, and was the 2009-2011 Research Fellow at Sport in Society at Northeastern University in Boston.
She is the co-editor of the Journal of the Christian Society for Kinesiology and Leisure Studies.
Gin was also recently elected president of the CSKLS, only the second woman to serve in that role.
Jo Kadlecek is senior writer and a coordinator of the Gordon College News Service in Wenham.